Seattle Chowhound Returning to SF for a week
Its been nearly 8 years since we have moved away from The City for the third time. Short of a few quick business trips, we have not had a chance to return to the food mecca for an extended period. We are now coming the week of Feb 15 and have a few old haunts that we want to return to (they may very well have gone downhill or closed but I will be doing due diligence this week) but also would like to poll the group on new classic, or potentially classic SF institutions. As you will notice, we are less about fine dining than about food experiences of all types. On the old haunt list we have (in no order of preference):
-Swan Oyster Depot
-Harbor Court/Yank Sing
-Red's Java House
-The Clam House
-Hyde Street Bistro
-Jeaunty at Jacks
Any suggestions would be welcome but we will only have budget for 1 or 2 "splurge" restaurants. We won't have a car but will be staying in a central location and will be fully prepared to cab anywhere.
That's a pretty solid list -- as you said, classic. Roosevelt's is under new management. If by Harbor Court you meant Harbor Village in the Embarcadero Center, it's no more. I'm not sure about La Vie or The Clam House, but I don't think the others have changed significantly. I'd say if you liked those places before, you'll still like them.
Since you left San Francisco restaurants have developed a couple of trends. One would be regional Italian (A-16, SPQR, La Ciccia) -- in fact, I think modern Italian is very strong in the City right now. The other is Peruvian, with Peruvian restaurants at several different price points (Limon, La Mar Cebicheria, Fresca, Mochica).
Another modern Italian place is Perbacco.
Bar Tartine for New American/California.
Koi Palace is probably the best dim sum but not cheap and often crowded.
Burma Superstar and Yamo (hole in the wall) for Burmese (there's a few other places)
Shanghai Dumpling King for Xiao Long Bao or XLBs (soup dumplings) (also a few other places)
La Vie is still good but other Vietnamese places have surpassed it or other places are less expensive. Lulu is still good but I only go for brunch or big groups...it seems there's so many new places (weekend brunch is a great pick, never crowded).